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Obituary: Stranahan, Larry Douglas

Sun., July 29, 2012

Age 63

STRANAHAN, Larry Douglas

SPOKANE, WA - Larry Douglas Stranahan, “Stranny”, 63, beloved father, brother, uncle, friend, teacher, and coach, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, July 18, 2012, in Mongolia while doing something he loved most, traveling.
He was born to Westel “Wes” Stranahan and Thelma Cofer Stranahan on March 24, 1949, in Missoula, MT.
Larry graduated from Sentinel High School in 1966 and the University of Montana in 1971 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Zoology/Education.

He later earned a Masters in School Administration from the University of Montana.
From 1968 through 1970 he played defensive lineman for the University of Montana Grizzlies.

In 1969 and 1970, they were the Big Sky Champions and finalists in the Camellia Bowl.

In 2010, the 1969 and 1970 teams were inducted into the Grizzly Hall of Fame.

His coaching and teaching career took him to Havre from 1972 to 1978 where he was head football coach of the Havre Blue Ponies.

While there they won the Montana Eastern Division Championship.

Larry Stranahan led the team to the AA State Championship in 1977, the furthest the team progressed until 1994.

From there he returned to his hometown, Missoula, MT, to coach the Hellgate Knights.

His other coaching and teaching experiences included Colorado State University, the University of Montana, Helena High School, and Grants Pass High School.

In 1986 he moved to Spokane, WA where he taught science and was defensive coordinator for Head Coach Mike McLaughlin at Mead High School.

In 1997 he moved to Mount Spokane High School where he continued to teach science and coach football and wrestling.

While at Mt.

Spokane he was the head of the science department, and helped write science curriculum for Washington State.

The Mt.

Spokane Wildcats Football team won their first championship in 2002, with Larry as Defensive Coordinator.

In 2003 he retired from coaching and planned to come out of retirement and coach the Wildcats with Mike again this year.

On June 24, 1989, Larry married Jo Vogel in Missoula, MT and had a daughter, Vanessa Kate, on April 7, 1990 in Spokane, WA.

Larry and Jo later divorced but remained friends and shared parenting of Vanessa.

Larry was a devoted father, teacher, coach and had a lifelong love of football.

He loved to travel, write, bird watch, hike, fish, bicycle, cross country ski, ride his motorcycle, and teach others.

In recent years he traveled to six continents and was always looking forward to his next trip.

He was a published writer and loved to write humorous stories of his travels.
Larry’s friends were a big part of his life.

He made and maintained many friendships.
He was preceded in death by his parents Westel and Thelma Stranahan; his uncles and aunts, Clyde and Florence Stranahan, Farrand and Jean Stranahan, Larry and Cherryol Burrill, and Clark and Francis Swapp.
Larry is survived by his daughter, Vanessa Kate Stranahan; ex-wife Jo Vogel; sister, Cherryol “Lynne” and brother-in-law Rod Kessler; niece and her husband, Leia and Brad Waln and their three children; cousins; and his many friends.
Please join us at one or both of the memorial services as we celebrate Larry’s life.

A memorial service will be held at Mt.

Spokane High School’s theater in Spokane, Washington on Saturday August 4th, at 2 p.m. in the theater, followed by refreshments.

A future service will also be held in Missoula at a time to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the University of Montana Grizzlies, Humane Society of Spokane County, or the Audubon Association.

These organizations meant a lot to Larry in his life.

Montana Grizzly Football team.

Checks can be made payable to The University of Montana Foundation and mailed to The UM Foundation, PO Box 7159, Missoula, MT 59807-7159.

Donations also may be made online at, or by calling the Foundation at 800-443-2593.

Please be sure to note gifts are for the Montana Grizzly Football team in memory of Larry Stranahan.

The National Audubon Society, Phone: 212-979-3000 on “Support Us” Scroll down to make a memorial donation by following the link.
Spokane Humane Society, PO Box 6247, 6607 N Havana Spokane, WA 99217, (509) 467-5235 ext 13 FAX (509) 464-4640


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